TAYLOR, Mich. – It has been more than a month since Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars had his home and office raided by the FBI on Feb. 19.
Several sources told Local 4 the investigation is focusing on allegations of bribery and kickbacks. Sollars said he is innocent and looking forward to clearing his name, but a new voice is emerging.
In an exclusive interview with the Local 4 Defenders, one of the whistleblowers providing information to the FBI told his side of the story.
You can watch Kevin Dietz's full interview above.
Shane Anders said his reputation and business have been damaged and he wants the public to know he's helping the FBI investigation and isn't a target of it.
Anders owns Area Towing and Recovery, which had a contract with the Taylor Police Department. He said he told FBI agents that Sollars forced him to use Gasper Fiore for all the heavy tows in Taylor.
Fiore pleaded guilty to bribery charges and was sentenced to prison in August.
Anders used his own company one day and alleges he was told he had to use Fiore's services or he wouldn't be able to work in Taylor.
When Anders was told he was reported as one of 14 targets in a bribery investigation, he said he went to the FBI and told them everything he knew.
After he spoke with the FBI, Sollars' house and office were raided.
Anders is telling his side of the story to clear his name in a federal investigation. He's also suing the mayor's office on allegations of trying to force him out.
"I'm getting people to understand that I wasn't a part of it," Anders said.
Sollars has not been charged with a crime and insisted his office has done nothing wrong. Anders is hopeful his lawsuit will uncover evidence to convince council members and the community he wasn't involved.
A spokesperson for the city of Taylor released the following statement:
“This lawsuit is frivolous. The allegations in this case have no basis in fact. We are confident the judge will find Mayor Sollars and City Hall staff acted appropriately and well within the law. Mayor Sollars is only focused on what is best for the City of Taylor and the well-being of its residents.”
A letter from Taylor's chief of police can be read below.